Set on a hillside overlooking the gleaming expanse of Walker Bay, 100 miles southeast of Cape Town, Grootbos Private Nature Reserve comprises two self-contained lodges and two multibedroom villas. For more than a quarter century, the property has offered profound tranquility in a pristine natural setting. Despite its many challenges, the pandemic has recently provided the resort’s owners with an opportunity to make significant improvements. Built in 1996, the original Garden Lodge will reopen in April after a comprehensive redesign.
Its 11 freestanding suites, all of which come with floor-to-ceiling windows and glorious ocean views, have been refurbished in a more modern style. Nearby, a new Wellness Center will provide three treatment rooms, while a wine cellar, containing a huge selection of rare South African wines, now offers an intimate dining space for up to eight couples. The pool area has been upgraded, a lounge and children’s playroom have been added and an all-new dining area has been designed to maximize views over Walker Bay from an expansive panoramic deck. Grootbos continues to offer unique 4x4 botanical safaris in open-sided Land Rovers; marine safaris to view migratory whales (June through December), great white sharks, dolphins and penguins; and superb hiking, either through the surrounding fynbos (shrubland) or along the unspoiled southern Atlantic coastline.